How to Quickly Convert an AutoCAD DWG to 3D in Sketchup

Featured Image_How to Quickly Convert a DWG to 3D

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can quickly turn a DWG to 3D in Sketchup. Before we get started, it’s important to note that the method we are going to use is a Sketchup Pro feature only! If you’re looking for a way to import a DWG with the free version, you can check out our other video tutorial here.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you a few simple steps to create a 3D plan that you can use for modeling, rendering, or just for fun!

Converting a DWG to 3D

File > Import. The first step is to simply import your DWG file. Go to “file” > “import” and select the file you want to use. Click “import.”

Explode. Once your image is imported, right-click and select “explode.” This will make the geometry easier to work with in Sketchup.

scale DWG to 3D floor plan

Scale Floor Plan. You may notice that your floor plan imports very small or larger! To scale it correctly, use the tape measure tool and measure an object you know the dimensions of. Doorways are a good example because they typically have standard widths (for instance the main door is likely around 36″). Click at the starting and ending point of the object you are going to measure and then type in the correct dimensions. Press “enter.” A message will pop up asking if you want to resize the model. Click “yes.”

Delete Unnecessary Layers. When converting a DWG to 3D, you only need to worry about the walls. Sketchup will recognize the original layers from your AutoCAD file, and having all of them can be distracting. You can hide the layers, but it’s best to just go ahead and delete them. Under the “layers” tab in the default tray, select the layer you want to delete. Then click on the “-” button to delete it. A message box will pop up asking what you want to do with the contents. Select “delete contents” and hit “ok.”

DWG to 3D message

Clean it Up. You may have to close off some lines in the DWG, but this is normal. Use the “line” tool to close off any gaps in the drawing and you will begin to create some faces. The next step is to make the rest of the wall’s faces, but we have a bit of a cheat to make this a little easier.

close lines from DWG to 3D

Make Faces

Make Group. Select the DWG and right click to select “make group.”

Move. Hit “M” to use the move command and hold the “up” arrow key to move the floor plan up along the blue axis.

Draw a Rectangle. Hit “R” to open the rectangle tool. Draw a rectangle underneath the floor plan and scale it so it covers the entire plan.

draw rectangle under DWG to 3D plan

Select Group > Drape. Select the floor plan group you just created and then click on the “drape” tool in the top menu bar. This will ‘drape’ the lines of your plan onto the flat surface of the rectangle. This makes it easier to get all of the walls from the plan. Hit “E” and use the eraser tool to get rid of the rectangle. Now you have a floor plan!

drape floor plan of DWG to 3D

Hit “P.” Use the “push/pull” tool to extrude the walls from the DWG to 3D. Click on a wall to extrude it and type in the ceiling height. Hit “enter.” Now, you can just double click on the rest of the walls to extrude them to the same height.

extrude walls from DWG to 3D

Add the Headers. In one of the door openings, use the line tool to draw a line at 6’-8”. Copy the box you just created and move it to each of the door openings. Then use the “push/pull” tool to drag the header across the door frame. Once you finish drawing everything, go back and use the eraser tool to delete any unnecessary lines, or hold “ctrl” while using the eraser tool to hide the line.

draw door header in DWG to 3D
converted DWG to 3D

If you want to learn how to turn a sketch floor plan into 3D, check out this tutorial. Don’t forget to visit our Sketchup tutorials page to learn even more tips!

Happy Hacking!

26 Comments

  1. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  2. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  3. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  4. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  5. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  6. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  7. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  8. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  9. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  10. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  11. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  12. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  13. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  14. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  15. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  16. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  17. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  18. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  19. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  20. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  21. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  22. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  23. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  24. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Paige,

    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.

    Best,
    Tony

  25. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  26. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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